PRESS RELEASE // EVANS COUNTY, GA – Evans County recently received a check in the amount of $ 14,042, representing its share of a $5 million one-time special return from the ACCG – Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund (GSIWCF). ACCG is Georgia’s county association and works on behalf of county officials and their communities by providing public policy and legislative advocacy, leadership development, civic and community engagement initiatives, insurance and retirement programs that specialize in local government needs and other cost-saving programs.
“We welcome the opportunity to recognize our loyal program participants and reward longevity in our programs,” said ACCG Executive Director Ross King. “Over 166 counties and authorities trust ACCG to provide for their workers’ compensation insurance needs through our well-established and respected program that specializes in the needs of Georgia county governments.”
The ACCG – Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund (GSIWCF) was established in 1982. Organizations participating in the workers’ compensation insurance program since 2014 are eligible for the special one-time return. Each year, premiums are collected from the membership and the workers’ compensation benefits are paid to the injured workers. While some injuries are minor and benefits are paid quickly, benefits for more serious injuries may be paid over the course of ten or more years. The portion of the premium that is not immediately needed results as investment income to the program.
“This action underscores the benefit of participating in a county-owned program,” said ACCG President and Elbert County Chairman Tommy Lyon. “We have the flexibility to share a portion of these gains with the membership whereas a commercial carrier would likely have kept the profit or distributed it to its shareholders.”
Recently, the Board of Trustees determined that it was in the best interest of the fund to eliminate one of the three money managers that manage an investment portfolio on behalf of the program. The investments from the terminated money manager were sold in order to transfer the portfolio to the remaining managers which resulted in an influx of realized gains. After assessing the strength and stability of the program with external consultants, the Board of Trustees agreed that a portion of these gains could be returned to the participating organizations.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to allot this special one-time return to the membership,” said GSIWCF Board of Trustees Chairman and McDuffie County Commissioner Frederick Favors. “This is an excellent example of one of the many benefits of participating in county-owned insurance programs that are administered by ACCG.”
Counties have the flexibility to use this funding as needed; however, ACCG encourages counties to consider investing at least a portion of this special one-time return to implement programs or practices that can reduce the number and severity of future accidents. In turn, this can potentially lower future workers’ compensation premiums as insurance premiums are impacted by the claims history. Although ACCG – GSIWCF has returned a dividend 27 times over the life of the program – and every year since 1996 – the dividend has historically been returned in the form of a premium credit.
A $3.75 million dividend was distributed statewide as a premium credit in January 2016. The premium credit is beneficial to the membership as it reduces annual premium costs. The special one-time return is being offered as the result of eliminating one of the program’s money managers. It is not intended to replace the premium credit, which will continue to be evaluated on an annual basis. ACCG provides workers’ compensation insurance to more Georgia county governments than all other insurers combined and manages assets of approximately $219 million. Since 1985, the program has returned more than $60 million in the form of premium credits.